Yesterday, we talked about being confronted with unexpected negative publicity, and that we need to get all the right people around the table to talk about the what-ifs, and to prepare for them.
Another critical component we must consider, and which is increasingly possible today because of Social Media, is the importance of building equity in your brand every day.
Building brand equity is HUGE in times of trouble.
What Is Brand Equity?
If you and your firm have spent time and resources building relationships with your friends and followers, these unexpected episodes can be softened by the padding I will call pre-existing support and admiration, or Brand Equity. When we are referring to efforts solely online, it can be referred to as Social Capital.
It is that part of you (the brand) people have decided they want to buy, or support, or do business with. This doesn’t always mean they are going to spend money with you, but they have decided they like you, and they will go out of their way to support you. In essence, they feel like they own a part of you (the equity). They have bought in to you, and they’re happy about that.
It doesn’t happen overnight.
It takes regular interaction and conversation in Social Media, as well as in many other non-digital ways.
How does it work?
Picture it like a beach ball at a baseball game. You’ve seen them. They get tossed in to the crowd to bat around until someone is holding them when the music stops. They often win something for being the last one to hold that beach ball.
Similar to that beach ball, if you have built Brand Equity and you get in trouble, or experience negative publicity about your firm, those who already know, like and trust you might be willing to keep you up in the air while you issue apologies, comments, good deeds, remorse and whatever else needs to be done to make it right, or as right as possible.
The people who do this are sometimes called your Brand Advocates. We will talk more about them in another post, but let me tell you, they are pure gold in the life of your business.
Sure, another negative comment will come along and, just like the ball, you’ll get dropped by someone every once in a while. Then, suddenly, someone who wants to support you might just pick you up, post positive comments on your behalf, and try to help put you back in the game.
Even if they aren’t willing to post something positive on your behalf, those who are invested in you will be less likely to pile on, and will be much more forgiving, letting the matter slide, than those who have not.
That’s the power of Brand Equity.
Are you building Brand Equity?
Are you out there establishing the relationships necessary to not only build business, but to also encourage the kind of relationships that cause others to become your Brand Advocates?
There’s no time like the present to organize your efforts.
There’s no better time than today to begin finding those who will support you, and help keep you up in the air when crises arise.
Do you have Brand Advocates who will help support you in times of trouble?
Are you the beach ball others want to keep up in the air?